Men’s soccer team takes off-season in stride

The soccer team will be focusing on injury prevention more during the off-season

Claude Miller

When the Washington and Lee men’s soccer team last took the field, they walked off with their shirts dirty and their heads down. They lost 2-0 to Franklin and Marshall in the second round of the NCAA Championship. It was the second year in a row that the Generals went home early.

“It was a tough defeat in the playoffs, as we wanted to exceed our record from last year,” defender Jack Miller, ’19, said. “The last game just didn’t go our way, but that’s soccer.”

As an athlete, there is never a true off-season. The Generals are looking to the spring and summer as an opportunity to come back stronger next season.

Several key players on the roster will be spending their off-season rehabbing injuries.

Midfielder Will Hamryka, ’19, who scored six goals and had two assists this season, played the last half of the season with a hip injury.

“It was a labrum tear,” Hamryka said. “I had to get surgery over break. Once they opened me up, they saw that the tear was three quarters of my entire labrum. There was a lot of missing tissue.”

Midfielder Will Rowson, ’19, had a similar hip condition, although his was a recurring injury. Playing through labrum tears over the past few seasons, the pain eventually caught up and forced Rowson to be sidelined for a majority of last season, he said. He is currently doing physical therapy to regain strength and flexibility

Defender Griffin Coffey, ’20, is also on crutches with a broken foot.

As injured players work to regain their strength, the healthy players are joining them and taking a different route into off-season training than in previous years by mixing in new activities.

“We have a workout program which alternates lifts on some days, and quickness and agility training on the others,” Rowson said. “We also started doing team yoga once a week which is something new.”

Hamryka added that the team has started a “soccer racquetball” league. The purpose is to improve fine skills and techniques. The team also plays unorganized pick-up games.

With new off-season training comes new expectations for the team as they look to make a deep tournament run next season.

“Because we are putting more emphasis on specific areas of improvement in the off-season, like speed and agility and technicality on the ball, we will be more in form come next pre-season,” Miller said.

The Generals are looking to win the conference next season and be the first men’s soccer team to make it past the second round of the NCAA tournament in W&L history.